February 10, 2016 Superintendent's Message

February 10, 2016

 

Dear Medway families,

As we transition from a snowy start to the month of February and our upcoming February vacation, we write to share with you important updates from the district.  Wishing you some meaningful extra time with your children; we hope that you find the time to recharge and reconnect in the coming week.

 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

FY17 Budget Planning

At the February 4 school committee meeting, Finance Director Don Aicardi and I presented the FY17 preliminary budget.  This presentation included a level service budget estimate, as well as early thoughts on additional funding priorities in development.  A copy of the presentation can be found here:  FY17 Preliminary Budget Presentation.  We will continue to discuss budget development at the February 25 meeting.  The Medway School Committee will hold its budget hearing on March 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  

 

Strategic Planning

Thanks to the school committee’s approval of our strategic plan goals, we are able to move forward with the the development of proposed strategies and initiatives to support the fulfillment of these goals.  Please click here to find a survey that has been sent out to all staff, families and the community to collect feedback on these strategies and initiatives.  We will be meeting with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee on March 23 for the purpose of reviewing received feedback and finalizing next steps.  We hope that you will take some time to review and reflect upon these strategies and initiatives.  Thanks for your continued investment in this process.

 

Superintendent’s Chat - February 25, 2016

Recently, the Medway School Committee voted approval of the five goals of the strategic plan.  In addition, on Thursday, February 4th, the school committee reviewed the district’s preliminary budget.  We would like to focus on these two topics at the next Superintendent’s Chat.  The chat is scheduled on Thursday, February 25th, from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., in the school committee/presentation room at Medway Middle School.   

 

Response Needed - Technology Curriculum Review Parent Survey

In the fall, the Medway Public Schools began an examination of our K-8 instructional technology curriculum.  We are nearing the end of our self-study phase of this work and are reaching out to request your feedback as a final, essential component.  A portion of the self-study takes a look at the perceptual feedback of our families regarding their children’s experience with technology.  A summary of this feedback will be embedded within this analysis.  Please take a few moments to take this parent survey.  We have tried to customize the surveys based on our age ranges.  Thank you!

 

Initiation of Social Studies Curriculum Review

Teaching and learning are at the core of a school district’s mission.  The activity of teaching to clearly defined standards and maintaining high expectations for student performance is enhanced when a school district articulates the agreed-upon curriculum.  Curriculum renewal is the critical component of a school district’s ability to remain current with the best instructional practice, to align the curriculum to local, state, and national frameworks, and to maintain high academic standards and educational opportunities for all students.  

 

Successful school districts maintain a consistent program of studies for each level in the district, and a uniform curriculum for each subject.  This approach provides the opportunity for careful evaluation of student performance by analyzing assessment data over time.  It also provides a consistent program of expectations for content

coverage and skill instruction, allowing teachers to focus their classroom instruction on the needs of their students, knowing that they will be prepared to move successfully through the school system.  

 

The Medway Public Schools is committed to the development of a clearly articulated curriculum in all subject areas and systematic review of its curriculum and instructional programs.  This commitment manifests itself through the district’s curriculum review process.

 

On Tuesday, February 10, we began our history/social sciences curriculum review process.  We expect this process to take between 12 and 18 months that will conclude with a visiting team report.

 

We will continue to provide you with updates throughout each phase of this process, as we have done for the technology curriculum review process that is taking place at this time.

 

Summer Street Crosswalk Improvement

This fall, I shared with you that the district received additional fiscal resources to focus on safety.  The funds received were used to purchase radios to enhance communication during a crisis, install locks on the interior foyer doors at the high school, and enhance the crosswalk on Summer Street.  I am pleased to report that all of these items have been completed.  Below is a picture of the new signage and lights that will blink when a student presses a button to cross.  

IMG_0458.JPG

 

Education Express

We published and shared the January 2016 edition of the Education Express, our district’s quarterly publication, today.  There was much to highlight and celebrate.   Medway Public Schools ~ Education Express, January 2016

Happy reading and viewing!  

 

REMINDER:  The following information was included in the December 10 and 22 updates.

 

Preparing for Winter Weather

Last year was a winter for the record books; more than 100 inches of snow fell in the Boston area.  As winter approaches, we thought it would be helpful to outline some of the process used to determine if school will take place as scheduled, be delayed or cancelled.  

 

Please know that despite the unpredictable winter weather, it is our goal to hold school whenever possible.  As bad weather approaches, the Medway Public Schools works collaboratively with the town administrator, Medway Public Services Department, and the Medway Police Department to discuss the timing of the storm and the potential impact on school opening.  The decision to hold, delay, or cancel school during inclement weather is difficult.      

 

As we prepare for the coming winter, we ask that families take steps to develop plans in the event that school is held, delayed or cancelled during bad weather.  We will try to make these decisions as early as possible, but the timing of the storm may prevent significant advanced notice.

 

In addition, we are exploring the possibility and feasibility of creating temporary inclement weather bus stops for students who are normally not eligible for bussing.  These stops would only be in effect during storms or following a storm when sidewalks have not yet been cleared.  If your child walks to and from school, and you are unable to arrange for other transportation during snow events, or following snow if the sidewalks are not cleared, we ask that you complete the form by clicking the link below.

Inclement Weather Bus Stop Data Collection

 

We will review the results of this inquiry to determine whether we can provide this additional level of support to families.  We expect to communicate a complete inclement weather plan within a few weeks.   

 

Upcoming Events

February 15-19, 2016    Winter vacation

February 24, 2016    MFE Trivia Bee, Burke-Memorial School cafeteria, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

February 25, 2016    Superintendent’s Chat, Medway Middle School presentation room, 5:45-6:45 PM,

            School committee meeting, Medway Middle School presentation room, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

February 26, 2016    MEPTO Bingo Night, Burke-Memorial School, 6:30 PM

February 27, 2016    Kindergarten registration, McGovern School, 9:00 - noon

February 29, 2016    School committee and board of selectman meeting, Sanford Hall, 6:00 - 7:00 PM

March 2, 2016        MSPTO meeting, Medway High School, 7:30 - 9:00 PM

March 3, 2016        School committee public hearing on budget, Medway Middle School, presentation room,

7:00 - 7:30 PM

School Committee meeting, Medway Middle School, Presentation Room, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

March 4, 2016        Medway High School Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, Auditorium, 7:30 PM

March 5, 2016        STEM Saturday for Girls, Medway Middle School, grades 2-8, 12:30-4:30 PM

Medway High School Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, Auditorium, 7:30 PM

March 6, 2016        Medway High School Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, Auditorium, 2:30 PM

 

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